10 Toptastic Tips for getting You that First, Illusive Job in Marketing!
1. Look back in the papers and marketing magazines a YEAR ago to fifteen months for 'marketing assistant' level jobs. Mysteriously they come up again because of course, those who have used them as a first rung on the ladder have moved up or out! Phone up, ask about any possibilities or just send a spec letter asap before they need to bother advertising again!
2. Look at ad' agencies / web / PR etc company web sites for lists of clients, especially new ones. Find the marketing manager at those clients! They have a spend at least.
3. Work around recruitment consultants! Find out who the employer is, and why they are recruiting, say you are not interested, and then go direct. Especially when they are recruiting a to a new or expanding marketing department. I have landed three really good jobs this way - two by later follow ups having gone through consultants, and one by completely going direct after meeting a brick wall at the consultants Also if you have to go through them, get hold of business cards from the clients and leave your own...brings us on to 4...
4. Make a simple visit card aka business card with your contact details, what you study/have graduated in, and a photo. Leave it at all interviews and networking contacts. This is a lot more discreet than people actually keeping and passing on your CV. Print out on sticky back paper, stick to card and cut with a good guilotine. Or get a printer to do them for as many of you as have cash towards a couple of hundred quid.
5. Make a list of questions you have on a job as your first point after you see the advert. Always call the point of contact and remember to let them talk and describe what the job's actual work-tasks will be.
6. i)When doing open applications, give most emphasis on why you are interested in that company, industry and job function.
ii) DON'T SEND YOUR CV! Send a quick summary of you as a person with your first degree, dip marketing when you get your exam results and MSC marketing when you finish. A mini CV with a photo of you in business dress.
7. Go to sales job interviews at large (blue chip) or otherwise interesting companies :
i) Why bother ? ? ? Interviews for sales jobs are easy to get at large companies which are otherwise fortresses for marketing graduates!
When at the usual 'selection day' you can use some time to network with any marketers there or at least get names out of personnel- marketing managers, brand managers and so on.
But remember - Discuss about being a rep and be positive. Do any group work or presentations as well as doing the best possible effort you can to impress all present.
ii) When they inevitably grill you about marketing as your choice, either agree and say maybe sales is only a short term route to marketing ( sales managers really hate this) or that on hearing more about the job, maybe it is not sales you want to work in- especially if you have a one to one with a personnel boss. Ask about working in marketing with them, not sales managers.
iii) If all their marketers have been in sales, or there are no opportunities right now in marketing, ask about temporary territory sales ie. cover jobs as a way into the company. These are ok paid, but the big pluss is that you get your expenses for living out a suitcase and a company car (otherwise forget it!) Your face is in the company, you get to meet marketers at training and conferences and you are available without the sales manager letting one of his prodigies leave to the temple of marketing.
8. Get into the local enterprise companies, Technology transfer offices, venture capital, and other government bodies or consultancies helping companies establish, grow and do marketing. Look for graduate placements or blagg some advisor work. Find out on companies who are really growing. or at least those doing a marketing project.
9. Try to find a previous MSc marketer, in a decent sized company, who will consider taking you on a two week shadowing. At the very least you will gain invaluable knowledge on the job, and you may get your face known and asked to put in a CV on spec.
10. i) Find out when interviews will be for an advertised job when you first call, or just phone a week after the deadline. Say you are very interested and would be able to come to a cancellation at short notice, even travel to the location just on the chance of getting in.
If you are a snake, when other class mates have interviews find out when they are...sometimes they will get another job offer and leave a gap, or you at least know which day to ask for cancellations on. At big interview days, ask other candidates what forthcoming companies they have interviews with and try it on there!
ii) another snakey thing is when you get an inteview but no further, is to wait about two or three weeks and ask if they managed to get the person employed or not. If it is an assistant level job then quite often there is an arguement about pay with the person under offer who has that ellusive work experience. Also really good candidates quite often have a choice of jobs and turn down one or other. Finally some companies suddenly refuse to pay decent relocation costs and candidates tell them to get stuffed.
If at fist you don't suceed...try, try again! Never place all your hopes on one job ,career route or company. Always have a couple at least on the go, and if you do get a knock back, you can ask if they will have other opportunities coming up soon. If you don't get an interview then there is little point in asking what was wrong with your CV actually- extenuate the positive by asking about future opportnities. Follow up a month after. With my previous advice, 5 second interviews will land you a great first job, or as in the recession today, a first job in marketing of some sorts! If you get a lot of first interviews, without progress, go back and ask them all what you could have done better or what experience you would need to be as good as the actual winner.